Modern Slavery

What is modern slavery?

It is thought to be one of the most widespread crimes in the world. It can come in many different forms, including:

  • sexual exploitation
  • domestic servitude
  • forced labour
  • forced criminality
  • organ harvesting
  • forced or sham marriage.

Victims can be any age, gender or race, but are often taken advantage of due to their vulnerability. This is a serious crime which directly violates the human rights of its victims.

In the UK the number of people estimated to be in slavery varies widely from 13,000 people (UK government estimation) to 136,000 people (global slavery index estimation), with potentially even more. This is because it’s a type of criminal activity that is hidden, often going on behind closed doors.

That’s why it’s important to recognise the indicators of modern slavery and to know how to respond if you suspect someone is a victim. With its wide reach into our local communities, our officers are often well placed to identify and respond to suspected cases of modern slavery.

How do I recognise a potential victim of modern slavery?

  • By knowing the signs of modern slavery, you can help stop it. Here’s what to look out for in a potential victim:
  • fearful, anxious or distrustful of authorities
  • appears malnourished
  • shows signs of trauma (physical or psychological)
  • suffers injuries that may be the result of controlling measures or that have been left untreated
  • unfamiliar with local language or context
  • does not know their home or work address
  • has a story that sounds rehearsed
  • dependency and presence of a controller – allows others to speak for them when addressed directly
  • believes they have a debt to pay off
  • separated from their ID documents
  • do not have any days off, or unable to leave their work environment
  • has limited or no social interaction
  • reveals threats have been made against them or their family.

How do I report modern slavery?

If you, or someone else, is at immediate risk call 999 and ask for the police.

If you feel you are a victim of modern slavery, or being exploited, help is available. The Salvation Army can provide support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 0300 303 8151 for confidential support.

If you suspect someone is a victim of modern slavery, it is essential that you report it to the relevant authorities. Please do not confront the controller as it may put both yourself and the victim at harm.

To report your suspicions, or receive advice, call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700 (available 24/7), or use their form to report it online.

If you are with a victim of modern slavery who’s requesting support, please use these contacts:

During office hours (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday):

Please contact the Access Team on 0208 547 5005 and mention modern slavery - they will complete the next steps.

Out of office hours (5pm-9am, Monday-Friday, and 24 hours weekends and bank holidays):

Please contact the social services emergency duty team on 0208 770 5000.

If there is an immediate risk at any point in the process, please call 999.

If there are concerns in regards to a child at risk, contact the Single Point of Access Team on 0208 547 5008 (during office hours) or the emergency duty team (out of hours) on 0208 770 5000. Information here on raising concerns about a child.

Where can I find multi-lingual support?

The following publications provide information on your rights and where to find support for those who think they may be a victim of modern slavery in the UK:
English (pdf 1MB)
Shqip (Albanian) (pdf 243KB)
český (Czech) (pdf 251KB)
Magyar (Hungarian) (pdf 251KB)
Lietuviškai (Lithuanian) (pdf 253KB)
Luganda (pdf 247KB)
普通話 (Mandarin) (pdf 307KB)
Polsku (Polish) (pdf 247KB)
Romaneste (Romanian) (pdf 251KB)
Slovensky (Slovakian) (pdf 252KB)
Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese) (pdf 261KB)
Èdè Yorùbá (Yoruba) (pdf 265KB)

Modern slavery and human trafficking statement & our committment as a council:

Read our Modern Slavery Transparency Statement here.

Last Modified: 12/10/2021 18:07:35